IRVING, Texas – Jordan Spieth, 16, didn’t go away. Rather, his movement was into contention.
The Dallas high school junior shot 67 in windy conditions during the third round of the HP Byron Nelson Championship and moved up from a tie for 22nd to T-7. He’s at 6-under-par 204, six strokes behind leader Jason Day.
Spieth doesn’t play like a 16-year-old who is happy to be here. He plays like someone who wants to win. He plays fast and with authority. He gets emotional after undesirable results. He’s mentally tough beyond his years.
I love his game; he has the whole package – he drives the ball long and straight and putts well. And Iove his attitude; he’s polished, personable and confident. When he finished Saturday, he was already focused on the next target.
A big target.
“Right now I’m trying to go out and win it tomorrow,” Spieth, the sixth-youngest person to make a PGA Tour cut, said after posting 68-69-67. “I’ve had … neat experiences, but I’ve got another extremely important day tomorrow, so I’ve got to get out and start firing at some pins.”
Earlier, he talked of firing at pins because he has “nothing to lose.” Asked if he thinks he can win, he said, “I think I can make a run. No one expected me to make the cut. (Now) I guess I have an outside chance. If I get the right conditions, the wind starts to pick up and I start dropping bombs from all over the place, it could happen.”
The ovations the local favorite got on the last few holes were thunderous. Actually, the outpouring of love started early, when he holed a bunker shot for birdie at the first. “I’ve never heard anything like that before,” he said.
If he keeps it up, he’ll say that again Sunday.